Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Bills In The House. Rephrasing The Debate.

The strong anti-illegal immigration bill, proposed in the US House, has opponents marching in the streets again.

Another bill in the House is hardly noticed and might get to the route of the immigration issue better than ever. It's called the "Global Democracy Promotion Act," or H.R. 4465. This would lift gag orders against international family planning agencies. These gag order limits US funding to international agencies dealing with population issues.

Passing H.R. 4465 would be a big step toward addressing world population growth. I think it is mostly Democrats behind this bill.

Now would be a good time to give this little known bill more attention with the backdrop of concern about illegal immigration. Much immigration is population growth flowing over from Mexico and other countries with high growth rates.

Something like H.R. 4465 is a lot better way to deal with the issue than the more punitive, "Republican," ideas of "rounding people up and making them felons."

The gag order is partially imposed because there is fear that family planning agencies might (heaven forbid) promote abortion. Actually, I am not really a fan of abortion, but good family planning can help prevent abortion as well. Prevent unwanted pregnancies.

I think it was Congressman Barny Frank who once said about some of the Republican Right To Life attitudes,

"The right to life begins at conception and ends at birth."

Well, thousands of folks are now marching in the streets opposing the more punitive immigration bills that have surfaced in the Republican controlled House. Illegal immigrants want the right to a good life AFTER birth.

Actually, the immigration debate has split Republicans.

Some in the House want more restrictive policies while President Bush leans in favor of the "Guest Worker" idea.

Let Republicans squabble among themselves. Their "world view" seems to be crumbling.

In some ways, I don't blame people for worrying that too many people are coming into our job markets. Really, it's the housing market, more than the job market, that seems to be the problem. It isn't easy to be low, or even middle income if the American dream home runs over $400,000 in many areas.

Reducing our overall numbers would help, but also redefining the American dream is needed.

Forget the house with a backyard barbecue. Instead, embrace "life on the 25th floor" with the wealth of multi cultural experience close by. Take the elevator to salsa dancing. Don't bother driving. Take the bus which can run every ten minutes in your denser urban neighborhood.

It doesn't have to be all bad, but we do need to think in terms of population, planning and the ecological footprint that each person places on the environment.

Technology can help. If you don't think you have enough room for that huge library of books, in your new urban flat, don't worry. Your entire library can fit onto a small spool of DVDs!

Welcome to the future.

No comments: